This is Veronica Guerin’s killer, Brian Meehan, playing golf in his new open prison.
Our exclusive pictures show Meehan, 55, recently moved to Shelton Abbey Open Prison in Arklow, holding golf clubs while enjoying a game with fellow inmates this week.
Sources have confirmed that the gangster who helped shoot the journalist down 25 years ago now spends his time swinging with fellow inmates in a makeshift green space outside Shelton Abbey open prison in Arklow Clubs.
“Meehan’s head has been bowed since he arrived in Shelton.
“He gets a couple of golf balls and a club and goes out with a few others in the evening,” a source said. “After 20 years in prison, that’s a little luxury for people like him.”
We tracked the killer on a green next to the prison grounds this week. He wore an Under Armor T-shirt and shorts and carried two golf clubs while pitching and putting with fellow inmates in the sunshine.
These are the first pictures of Meehan in public in 15 years – and despite the time, the appearance of the killer hasn’t changed drastically, save for some grayer hair.
Sources said Meehan and a handful of other prisoners were allowed to play golf on the grounds for about two hours in the late afternoon before dinner.
It comes after Meehan was moved to the open facility on Aug. 30 after a parole board ruled that he was eligible to extend his sentence. Sources say the killer now has a single room in a dormitory at the Co Wicklow facility.
Although he doesn’t have an assigned job yet, Meehan will eventually get one, along with classes and other assignments during his time there.
Eventually, the killer will be granted day and weekend releases from prison before full release is considered in the years to come.
Sources say Meehan also enlisted the services of a personal addiction counselor – to prove he could live outside.
Meehan was sentenced to life in prison for the shocking murder of Ms. Guerin and has now served 22 years behind bars.
Veronica’s brother Jimmy told this newspaper earlier this year that he wrote directly to the Taoiseach and the Attorney General to urge them to keep Meehan off an early release. “It is extremely worrying that by the 25th anniversary of the year, the only person convicted of murder will be released to an open prison and eventually come out onto the streets.
“At the bottom of your story, I intend to write to the Minister and the Taoiseach and hope that they will exercise their powers,” he said.
Mr. Guerin says Taoiseach Michael Martin was a close personal friend of his slain sister – and that he hopes he will “see purpose” and keep him behind bars.
(Image: Photo call Ireland)
“The current Taoiseach was a personal friend of Veronica and had known her for many, many years. They were pretty close, you know that from Fianna Fail and other things, ”he said. “So I would hope that he’ll see some point in it.
“I remember Micheal Martin about the move and how upset he was, so I would just hope that he thinks about it and makes sure that the right action is taken,” added Mr. Guerin.
Jimmy believes a fair sentence for Meehan is the same as that of infamous killer Malcom Macarthur, who was released from prison in 2012 after 30 years behind bars.
“I can’t tell you what I think he deserves. But I think it’s wrong, ”he said.
“I would have thought a comparable or fair punishment would be that for which Malcom Macarthur was created. I think the punishment should be similar. “
During the 1999 trial of the drug dealer convicted of the murder of Ms. Guerin, the three judges of the special criminal court did not make any recommendation on how many years to serve.
He was sentenced to life for the murder and an additional five to 25 years on drug and firearms charges for running at the same time.
Meehan spent most of his time in the Portlaoise maximum security prison before being transferred to Wheatfield in 2019.
Veronica Guerin was shot and killed on June 26, 1996 while sitting at a traffic light on Dublin’s Naas Expressway in a shocking crime that was later acquitted by gang boss John Gilligan.
A two-man squad on a motorcycle opened fire.
Meehan drove and the late Patrick ‘Dutchy’ Holland was the shooter who fired six shots at the journalist.
Holland was never charged with her murder for lack of evidence, but gardai cited it as a trigger in a subsequent drug trial.
The professional felon denied this until his death in an English prison at the age of 70 in 2009. Meehan was convicted on evidence from Russell Warren, a member of John Gilligan’s drug gang who produced state evidence.
In 2017, Meehan lost one final appeal to overturn his conviction.
He moved to contest the April 2016 Court of Appeal ruling that refused to confirm that his conviction was a miscarriage of justice.
Meehan tried to argue that “new or newly discovered facts” emerged during the trial of John Gilligan, who was acquitted in 2001 for the murder of Ms. Guerin.
But the judges at the time described his offer as an “abuse of procedure” and rejected the application.
He then moved to the Supreme Court to hear a challenge to that decision, but it was decided that he had failed to show that the proposed appeal was necessary.